OCDE partners with Kaiser Permanente to pilot new Resilience in School Environments initiative

As part of an ongoing effort to help inform and educate local communities about the importance of screening for Adverse Childhood Experiences — or ACEs — and responding with trauma-informed care, OCDE has recently partnered with Kaiser Permanente Thriving Schools on the Resilience in School Environments initiative.

Referred to as RISE, the national initiative was developed to equip teachers and staff with skills and resources to strengthen their emotional health and that of their students to foster a more positive, supportive learning environment. According to Kaiser, RISE has been helping schools develop practices to reduce stress, expand education of social and emotional health among teachers and students, and improve the effectiveness of the schools’ current mental health systems.

Parent and student

A staggering amount of research has made it clear that ACEs are more prevalent than ever, and OCDE Administrator of Health and Wellness Dareen Khatib says it is no secret that schools function best when educators and students are both happy and healthy.

“Studies have shown that for teachers who are directly exposed to a large number of young people with trauma, a secondary type of trauma known as vicarious trauma is a big risk,” said Khatib. “We know classroom teachers and support staff can be their best when they develop long-term self-care practices to build up overall well-being and resilience.”

So, how does RISE work?

With support from OCDE, districts and schools can receive no-cost trainings, resources and supports based on their current priorities and needs. The initiative takes into account existing strengths and helps identify areas of growth that can transform the school environment into a healthier and more resilient space for all staff and students. Participating schools must be classified as Title 1 — which is a federal education program that supports low income students throughout the nation — and districts will be asked to actively participate in quarterly meetings facilitated by OCDE to support capacity building of school site team members.

Local districts interested in learning more about the RISE initiative can contact OCDE Administrator of Health and Wellness Dareen Khatib at dkhatib@ocde.us or 714-327-1083.